Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

People You Can Live Better Without

February 26, 2015

From Proverbs:

18:24 — Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.

22:24 — Make no friends with those given to anger.

I saw this blog describing people you can live without.

Other people can cheer you up, or they can drag you down. Did you ever consider how long it takes to recover from a chance meeting with a negative person? Even if you try to maintain a level personality, a few words can bring down your emotional well being and cause grief.

It is difficult to be productive with such an attitude. A negative co-worker is like an anchor weighing you down to the bottom of the sea. A negative friend does not help you succeed. A needy person can suck all the energy out of you.

Take a lesson from Lidiya K as well as from Proverbs. These are people you can live without. Try to sever relations as quickly as possible.

Here is her list. Can you add to it?

  1. Complainers.
  2. The ones that are with you only in good times.
  3. Those who don’t believe in you.
  4. Victims.
  5. People who gossip.

Look instead for people who build up other people. People who are servants. People who are wise.

Try Easy to Find Happiness

January 28, 2015

The very first time I was introduced to the “personal development guru” genre was in the late 1970s. The guy (I forget his name, now) “gave” us all Day-Timers for organizing our tasks, goals and time, taught us Transcendental Meditation (“ram” the sound of the third chokra, or energy center in the body, the seat of power), and left us with a thought, “try easy.”

By that he meant try to achieve, but take it easy. If it doesn’t happen, so be it. Work hard, but allow space for the unexpected.

Someone recently wrote about chronically unhappy people. One contributor was attempting (or thinking you can) control your life.

Ever notice people who are “control freaks?” They try to control all the outcomes of their life. They will be successful, the boss, rich, happy. They write goals and then try to micromanage the effort to control the outcome.

Many not only try to control every outcome of their life, they also try to control your life. They like to tell everyone else how to live second-by-second. They are a joy to have around—not.

Do you know controlling people—either aggressively so or passive-aggressively so—who say they aren’t? They say things like, “I know God is in control,” yet their lives betray their lack of confidence in that statement.

Life goals are good. Although writing a goal such as “I’ll lose 15 pounds this year” is laudable. But if you try controlling the achievement of that goal through will power, you’ll wind up unhappy.

If you see yourself as becoming fit, trim and 15 pounds lighter, and then look at your lifestyle and change some habits, then you’ll find yourself changing and maybe achieving that “try easy” frame of mind. You have established a habit of not snacking on high calorie junk. A habit of going to the gym. A habit of the group exercise class. If you miss one? So what, I’m in the habit of going and I return next day.

Same with deepening your spiritual life. There are so many people who talk about “loving the Lord” or “being a Christian”, yet they seem so unhappy.

Maybe just deciding to drop the burden of trying to control themselves and others that they may not even realize they are carrying will be the first step of freedom from their own self-imposed control. Maybe a new habit develops of thinking about others first. Not to control what they do, but to understand what they need and be there to help.

A change in attitude toward control will change the permanent orientation of your life from unhappy to joyful.

Try easy.


September 18, 2014

How do other people affect your happiness? Do you know what makes you happy?

John Ortberg has a series going on the subject. He mentioned last week quoting Dallas Willard that happiness (like the other fruits of the Spirit) is a condition, not an emotion.

Emotions come and go. If I am in a state of being happy, that is a condition that is more of a permanent part of my life.

On the same day, I heard Ortberg talk about how comparing ourselves to others is a great way to disrupt your happiness; then I read Leo Babauta talk of how social media can exacerbate the tendency to compare ourselves to others. We see people seemingly living good lives by watching their Instagram or Facebook posts. We think, they must be happy. That makes me unhappy.

Last Sunday, our pastor talked about how good it makes him feel after a service when people come up and compliment him. But, if one person criticizes, he feels bad for the week. He probably exaggerated, but it’s a true statement for all of us, right?

So, I pondered the question, how do other people affect my happiness? Or, better, why do I let other people affect my happiness.

Instead of being jealous at their success, try rejoicing with them. They may not be as happy as one Facebook photo may suggest. Maybe they need a hug.

My happiness comes from being grounded in the Spirit. But sometimes I do give people the power over my happiness. Then I recognize it and move on.